Click on the picture to enlarge — Just what is going on here? This is a picture of a new gas main supply being laid under Argyle Street — a really congested and busy road in the middle of Glasgow city centre. Does it look ‘right’ to you? Does this pipework arrangement look ‘normal’?
To my untrained eye, it seems a long way to go for a shortcut! As far as I can make out, the blue bits indicate the start and finish points of connection for the branch pipe. The distance between the blue valves looks quite short — so I wonder why they have decided to take the branch for a run; it goes off in the wrong direction, double backs over the main pipe, bends again to go in the right direction, then bends yet again to cross over yet again before the connection is made.
I do not claim to be an expert in pipework, nor am I CORGI approved to talk about supplying natural gas, but this arrangement caught my eye as I passed, and in my judgement, the shortest distance between these two points would have been more logical, more sensible, and probably a lot cheaper and safer too.
Let’s imagine that it couldn’t be done as the pipe is inflexible, and the connection points are too close together to allow for standard fittings and bends — well then, that simply shows that the blue valves and branches have been located too close together; it is, remember, all new pipework, so it would have been far better to have located everything relatively and properly.
Things are getting worse when journeymen and draughtsmen are overlooked in favour of probably cheap foreign labourers. In bygone times, this would certainly not have been considered acceptable under any test from cost to aesthetics. This is an ugly solution, thank goodness it is buried and out of sight… but it makes you wonder about other crazy solutions elsewhere!